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‘Please, make it stop!': Share the movies you just can’t stand

leadAwards season is officially underway in Hollywood, where ceremonies like the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes honor the best of the best in film. However, it’s also time for the “Razzies,” a tongue-in-cheek “awards” competition that highlights just the opposite — the worst of the worst. “Top” nominees this year include “Grown Ups 2″ and “After Earth.”

While I (thankfully!) didn’t end up seeing most of the films nominated this year, in the spirit of the Razzies, here are some good-natured rants on films I’ve watched over the years that I would like to give a Razzie to. ;) I’d also love to hear about some of the films that make your personal “least favorite” list!

Worst Sci-Fi Movie: “The Last Airbender” (2010)

airbenderI had the misfortune of watching this movie at a drive-in theater the summer it was released. It was sandwiched between “Despicable Me” and “Toy Story 3,” and if I wanted to see the new “Toy Story” movie, I had to sit through “The Last Airbender” in its entirety. Thankfully, “Toy Story 3″ was really good, which made my suffering ultimately feel worthwhile.

“The Last Airbender” has a cringe-inducing score on “Rotten Tomatoes” (about 6 percent), and it frustrated fans of the original cartoon it was based on. The concept is intriguing: a world populated by cultures that each control a different element — Water, Earth, Fire or Air. However, despite the relatively brief runtime for a sci-fi or fantasy film (1 hr. 43 min.), the film seems to drag on and on. The acting is painfully stiff, and the movie further damaged the already troubled reputation of M. Night Shyamalan.

Worst Superhero Movie: “Batman & Robin” (1997)

BatmanI ALMOST feel bad for picking on this one, because I seem to always reference it when I’m looking for an example of a bad movie to use on my blog. However, it’s hard not to reference it, since it is widely regarded as one of the worst superhero movies and was even named the worst film of all time by readers of Empire magazine.

The first Batman movie I saw was Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins,” and unfortunately, my second Batman experience was this one. I started to get a bad feeling during the opening sequence, but I didn’t realize just how bad the movie was going to be until Batman and Robin clicked their heels together and ice skates popped out. And it just went downhill from there. The film takes itself just seriously enough that it can’t cross over into the delightfully campy category of “so bad it’s good” films (here’s looking at you, “Sharknado”!). It’s still a mystery how an actor with the standing of George Clooney ended up starring in this one.

Worst Musical: “High School Musical” (2006)

MusicalI commented once to a friend in college that I had never seen “High School Musical,” and he told me to avoid it and preserve my innocence. Unfortunately, I didn’t listen, and I watched it anyway.

For me, the film felt too much like a made-for-TV movie (even though it IS a made-for-TV movie), and while the story is about breaking stereotypes, it kinda felt like it was still reinforcing them. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the movie, but I’m pretty sure I remember several times where it was a little too obvious the actors were lip-syncing to a separately recorded vocal track. However, it was at least better than the other movie I watched the same day — “Alvin and the Chipmunks” (which I’d like to nominate for “worst family movie”). I know, I know, what was I thinking? ;)

Worst Drama: “Twilight” saga (2008-2012)

twilightI kinda feel bad for picking on this one too, because it’s another one that gets called out frequently. However, I’m admittedly still a bit bitter about the fact I had to pay to see the final “Twilight” movie two times in theaters (don’t ask). ;)

The franchise is unique in that it has spawned detractors who are as equally passionate as its advocates. While I have nothing against those who are fans of the series, the movies frustrated me because I think the concept really did have potential, but the execution fell a bit flat. The performances from the three lead actors aren’t particularly compelling and didn’t make me buy into the whole love triangle. The film takes itself a bit too seriously, and the dialogue isn’t witty or memorable. The bright side is, some of the supporting actors from the series have shown promise and have gone on to more successful Hollywood careers.

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15 responses

  1. I haven’t seen most of these, actually. that Batman and Robin flick is truly awful, and the first Twilight film is unbearable (I imagine the rest are equally bad). I intentionally didn’t see The Last Airbender or High School Musical. :-)

    I’d add The Omega Code (1999) and Getaway (2013) to this list.

    January 31, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    • Yeah, I would definitely NOT recommend going out of your way to watch “The Last Airbender” or “High School Musical.” ;)

      January 31, 2014 at 11:11 pm

  2. Mel

    The thing I hate about bad musicals, even when the mouths are synced, is when you can hear the size of the room the song was recorded in. When it sounds like they’re in a large studio but the actor is in a small bedroom. Or you can hear the walls but the actors are outside. (Part of the reason I liked Les Miz so much is because they sung the songs where they were). And you can fake it with reverb and stuff, so it makes no sense not to at least fake it so it sounds like they’re in the same sized room. I know it’s weird but that’s when a musical loses me.

    With Batman movies, the problem is when a director’s reference is the 60’s TV show (loved it but it’s not serious. It’s an adult comedy) So again my problem with bad Superhero movies is when the creators don’t respect the source material (Or like Ang Lee, don’t even know the source material)

    I tried to find things to like about Twilight and you’re right, the best thing is that everybody else is in it are pretty good actors. It’s just the lead three that suck. Wouldn’t really call it a drama though. They are supernaturals.

    I turned off The Last Airbender (I rarely do that) I couldn’t watch it. I love the cartoon so much. I hope someone reboots that at some time.

    Ironically my two worst movies are from last year… After Earth and The Lone Ranger. With The Amazing Spider-man (Andrew Garfield unnecessary reboot) a close third. And then G.I. Joe Retaliation and The World’s End rounding out the top five. I think they’re all recent movies because older bad movies become funnier/better with time. When it’s both dated and bad it’s pretty funny.

    January 31, 2014 at 11:11 pm

  3. I also liked how Les Miz felt authentic. The singing felt really immediate and “real.”

    I also hope someone reboots Last Airbender because the concept was so cool and I think it would make a really good movie. I’d love to see another director and production team give a remake sometime in the future.

    I think you’re right — bad movies do become funnier with time (the more dated the movie feels, the better). Maybe some of the movies on my list will actually end up on my so-bad-it’s-hilarious list if I watch them 10 or 20 years from now. ;)

    January 31, 2014 at 11:15 pm

  4. I’ve seen Batman & Robin, Twilight but not Last Air Bender or HSM ( I only watched HSM 2 :) Although the movie sucks, the general concept for the Last Airbender is good and I could see it being rebooted. Speaking of reboots, I did like Amazing Spiderman though some don’t. I’ve caught bits and pieces of Catwoman on TV and from what I hear it’s terrible. Halle Berry accepted the razzie in person and humourlessly named all the people that made that award possible. So you paid to watch the last Twilight twice eh, haha I feel for you. :)

    February 1, 2014 at 2:50 am

    • I also liked the Amazing Spiderman reboot, although that one did prove to be a bit polarizing among fans. I haven’t seen Catwoman, but I’ve also heard that one was really, really bad.

      I ended up going to see the last Twilight movie in the theater the first time because a friend couldn’t find anyone else to go with her so I broke down and said I’d go. ;) I had to see it the second time because I told another friend I’d take her to go see a movie for her birthday, and I hadn’t realized Twilight was still in theaters, and that was what she picked. ;) lol We still joke about it.

      February 2, 2014 at 10:13 pm

  5. Tom Levier

    Very nice list.
    Since you follow my movie blog you are well aware I prefer movies that aren’t exactly Oscar worthy. I have a deep affection for “bad” movies, thanks to years of watching cable tv and shows like Mystery Science Theater 3000 – so it takes a lot to truly shake me. However, there are several genres of movies I wouldn’t watch if you paid me. Like romantic comedies, the teen vampire stuff, those “scary movie” parodies, any film where young people face off in a dance competition, independent movies that beat you over the head with how quirky they are, and any movie that involves Kevin Hart.
    Seriously, STOP ENCOURAGING HIM!

    February 1, 2014 at 3:59 am

    • Thanks! I also have a soft spot for B movies, so a movie has to be REALLY bad in order for me to get no enjoyment out of it at all. ;)

      February 2, 2014 at 10:15 pm

  6. Great list of bad films. : ) I definitely know my least favorite of 2013, though. Oz The Great And Powerful. Ugh!

    February 1, 2014 at 10:02 am

    • Thanks for reading! Yeah, that was definitely a movie with a cool concept that did need some more work.

      February 2, 2014 at 10:16 pm

  7. Pingback: And the Falling Liberty Awards for Least Favorite movies go to… | Pastimescapes

  8. The Last Airbender is the worst film ever made. Here are my thoughts haha xD

    http://isaacspictureconclusions.com/2013/05/25/shitfest-2013-entry-30-the-last-airbender-2010/

    February 1, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    • That is a great post — I loved all the graphics. ;)

      February 2, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      • Ha won me £50 that post did :D

        February 3, 2014 at 8:09 pm

      • I’m glad you received compensation for having to sit through such an awful movie! :) It was a great review, and it was WAY more entertaining than the movie itself!

        February 11, 2014 at 9:11 pm

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